Editing Tips

Interlopers Editing Tips

We've collated some useful tips for you to read and learn from. Whether you're a complete novice or an advanced level designer - you should find something here to interest you.

To contribute your own useful tips please visit this thread and read the first post for instructions.

Tips statistics

In total there are 50 tips

The users who submitted the most tips are:
The users with the highest rated tips are:
  1. A Quick Clone

    Tip Rating: 3.00

    If you hate copying and pasting in hammer and having the copied object/brush be completely away from where you want, you can hold Shift + Drag the object you want to duplicate it, really quick duplications if you're placing many barrels or some brushes.

    Category: Hammer

    Tip submitted by forty-nin3

  2. Triangles

    Tip Rating: 3.00

    Func_details are nice for the source engine, easier to compile than just brushes, but triangles are even easier for it, especially if they're also func_details. So try to make any brushes you can into triangles to make it less stressful on the engine.

    Tip image

    Category: Hammer

    Tip submitted by forty-nin3

  3. Pre-Hammer Planning

    Tip Rating: 3.00

    Just because "You have a good idea in your head" doesn't mean it's the best idea. Turn off the screen and get some paper, a pencil, a ruler and whatever geometry tools you think will be necessary. Draw a layout, basic or complex, it's for YOU to follow. Editing your drawing is a 100x easier then editing your map later in hammer. Also keep in mind your original idea is rarely your best idea. Let your mind flow and think, let the map evolve.

    Category: Miscellaneous

    Tip submitted by Penney

  4. Scaling Vertices

    Tip Rating: 2.00

    If you press Alt + E while in Vertex Edit Mode, you can scale your vertices. You can change where they scale from too. (Make sure you have some selected first)

    Category: Hammer

    Tip submitted by Lord Ned

  5. Use Vertex Manipulation on corners

    Tip Rating: 2.00

    Very often you see newer level designers creating slanted corners by dragging the connecting brush and clipping off the excess. This is not optimal as it stretches the brush and creates problems when texturing. Far easier to use the Vertex Tool to move the edges of the brushes as shown below.

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    Category: Hammer

    Tip submitted by Blink

  6. Flexible rotation

    Tip Rating: 2.00

    Do you think it's annoying when you can't rotate things 180 with exact precision? Well have you tried ticking the "15 degree rotation" box in the "2D view"-settings? Do that and it shouldn't be a problem. What? You need stepless rotation again? Well, just hold the shift button and rotate.

    Category: Hammer

    Tip submitted by lillerik

  7. Splitting Vertices

    Tip Rating: 2.00

    Splitting Vertices can be useful in many situations. For example, if you make a curved corner you don't want to have long thin pieces so you can split a edge and make it have larger pieces.
    Like this:

    • Select a face
    • Press CTRL+F while you have selected a Yellow square
    • Move the newly created vertices



    Tip image Tip image Tip image

    Category: Hammer

    Tip submitted by goldendeed

  8. Save Often

    Tip Rating: 2.00

    Never forget to save your map often, and keep multiple copies of the map file. If you don't you WILL regret it later.

    Category: Hammer

    Tip submitted by Spartan

  9. Untextured Geometry.

    Tip Rating: 2.00

    When using dev textures or placeholder textures on complex and repeated geometry such as multi-brush pillars and archways for hallways, just keep one and use a simple brush as a reference for the rest.

    Tip image

    Category: Hammer

    Tip submitted by Ripper_hugme

  10. Smoothing textures to create smooth shadows

    Tip Rating: 2.00

    Select a face from the brush, hold "alt" and right click on the surface you want to align. Move each align to the next face. When your texture is properly aligned see if a single brush face is big enough for one lightmap luxel.

    (3D window/lightmap grid) If not select the facetexture open its properties and choose a smaller lightmap grid. (default is 16, use numbers value of 2 => 16/8/4/2/1 ) Go back in to normal shaded/textured view. Select the faces you want to smooth (hold "CTRL"). Then go back into lightmap grid and click smooth, then select a number for its smoothing group.

    Category: Hammer

    Tip submitted by marnamai

  11. Map Edit

    Tip Rating: 2.00

    The map_edit command in Source is a useful feature that if used correctly allows you to alter certain parts of your map from within the game itself.

    An example of this is running the map and allowing all the prop_physics objects to settle and fall in to place and then writing these new positions back to Hammer so that processing time can be saved by not calculating the props' location everytime the map starts in future.

    This article on the Developer Wiki goes through the process in full detail.

    Category: Hammer

    Tip submitted by Blink

  12. Don't rush your first map

    Tip Rating: 2.00

    Often, one can spot that a novice mapper will post his first map without spending enough time on it. Spend time on your first map and you will get positive feedback. Enough time would be 2 - 3 weeks at the very least. Anything lower than that is pushing your luck.

    Category: Miscellaneous

    Tip submitted by YokaI

  13. Use CLIP on interfering geometry

    Tip Rating: 2.00

    Use the CLIP texture to smooth out areas of your map that have geometry that may interfere with a player's movement. Nothing will annoy someone more then dying because they got caught on a pillar, especially in multi-player.

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    Category: Hammer

    Tip submitted by Blink

  14. Keep things in scale

    Tip Rating: 2.00

    By using the dev textures you can ensure parts of your map stay in proportion with the player. Things such as doors and walls have specific textures for this use. Failing that, add several info_player_start entities in your map when you are working on new areas - this will give you a constant visual reminder of your level in relation to the player.

    Tip image

    Category: Hammer

    Tip submitted by Blink

  15. Spice up vents

    Tip Rating: 1.00

    You can make normal model vents look a bit more interesting by adding a smaller vent to the side at varying intervals. Adding models/props_vents/vent_medium_grill001.mdl as an add-on to normal vents will compliment it nicely and break up the monotony of long vent systems.

    Tip image

    Category: Hammer

    Tip submitted by Blink

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